had I been producing this Elvis session...

Chuck hhs249@GMAIL.COM
Thu Mar 10 09:35:57 EST 2011

Listening to this Elvis cover of The great Chuck Willis tune I FEEL SO BAD is, imo, a classic example of a band member playing something that just doesn't fit....to the point, that it should have been corrected. The culprit, if you will, was Floyd Cramer. A legend in his own right, at least to his fans, what he playing on piano just doesn't get it for me. Your milage may vary, but it just sounds out of place, too uptempo. The rest of the band, and Elvis, sound just fine. Floyd might have been the sort of session cat who, um, knows best, and cannot be told otherwise, or perhaps he was simply playing what the producer wanted, who knows.

It reminds me of the first day I had Zuzu Bollin in the studio, and the first session I had the opportunity to produce. Since we were recording the whole (big) band, live, in the big room at Sumet Burnet studios in Dallas--there was overbleed all over the place, no way to possibly remove anything from essentially what was the mix. The piano player just would not quit playing what I considered a carnival feel on tunes that called for, well, something else. Despite my gentle prodding to talk him into trying another style, he could not, or would not, get to where my ears wanted him to be--so despite meager funds, I threw out everything from the first day, and replaced the piano player on the next two days of recording, and I'd like to think the results speak for themselves.

chuck, in dallas

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